Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace-Words That Are Frequently Abused
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Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace-Words That Are Frequently Abused


this video I want to discuss a couple of
words that I come across regularly and speaking with employees that are bandied
about and thrown about in a very loose ill-advised way those words are bullying
and harassment I’m often told by various employees that they are suffering from
the bullying or harassment or both in the workplace what they don’t understand
however is that bullying and harassment have quite specific definitions within
the context of the law and the ordinary meaning that you might attribute to a
word like bullying or a word like harassing doesn’t necessarily apply to
behavior in the workplace which must in order to support some sort of a claim
some sort of a legal action must fall within the legal definition of
bullying or harassment so just to clarify that bullying from the
perspective of employment law is repeated inappropriate behavior which
offends the dignity of the worker of the employee so repeated inappropriate
behavior would suggest that the behavior must go on over a period of time there’s
no specific period of time specified in the law or alongside that definition
however it has been held in one or two high court cases or certainly civil
court cases that you’re looking at probably a period of perhaps three more
or six months now obviously if you suffer behavior that
does offend your dignity over a period of three months you could well make the
argument successfully that you have been bullied but I have seen a high court case there
where the judgment was that the behavior in order to constitute bullying as
understood by the law as understood by the various bits of legislation in the
workplace would be repeated over a good period of time perhaps six months but
certainly I would have thought three months to six months that’s bullying so
bullying is not where the employer might refuse to give you a bonus that you
think that you’re entitled to or might give you extra jobs to do or might
change your role might change the tasks or duties or responsibilities you have
might ask you to work in a different location if your contract of employment
provides for that then none of those things would be of itself bullying
behavior perhaps they might form part of a pattern of behavior but a of themselves
would not be sufficient to constitute bullying from a legal perspective as the
first thing second thing is harassment again I’ve heard employees regularly
frequently repeatedly say to me my boss or my employer is bullying and harassing
me or I believe I’m being bullied or I believe I’m being harassed harassment is
actually a discrimination related concept in Irish employment law and in
order to bring a claim about harassment it must be according to the employment
equality acts 1998 2015 the harassment must arise on one of the nine
discriminatory grounds so that would be gender civil status family status sexual
orientation age disability membership of the travelling community and so forth
what the harassment the behavior about which you complain the behavior which
you described as harassing behavior or harassment
must be on one of the nine discrimination grounds and that’s a key
distinction because if you cannot ground your complaint in one of the
discrimination grounds then you’re not gonna succeed when a harassment claim
under the employment equality acts 1998 sexual harassment den is a
different ballgame again but it is a discrimination based claim under the
employment equality acts 1998 the key point I’m making to you is this I’m being
bullied and harrassed at work I am being bullied and harassed by my employer I am
being bullied harassed by my supervisor or manager these words are words that
can be thrown around easily and you may be doing so or the employee may be doing
so given these words their ordinary meaning but what I’m saying is that when
it comes to an employment related claim to the WRC or perhaps suing for a breach
of contract or perhaps commencing legal proceedings in courts then the concept
of bullying and the concept of harassment are very different to the
ordinary meaning to the or me understanding I hope you take this into
account and you do get legal advice before you commence any complaint
or action to the WRC certainly there’s no difficulty raising any grievance
internally alleging bullying or harassment but when it comes to making a
complaint to the WRC or anywhere else for that matter then the these words
have particular specific meanings and definitions I hope you find this video
useful if you do give it a thumbs up down below and you may be interested in
subscribing to my youtube channel on which I every Saturday morning
repeatedly and with consistency show up with a video that attempts to explain in
plain language some aspect of Irish law or Irish business thanks for watching

4 Comments

  • Palladio Decor

    Terry are you saying the non fatal offences aginest a person act does not apply in the workplace? And none of the following does/can or could
    Happen to an employee (or manager) in work?

    10.—(1) Any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, by any means including by use of the telephone, harasses another by persistently following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating with him or her, shall be guilty of an offence.

    (2) For the purposes of this section a person harasses another where—

    (a) he or she, by his or her acts intentionally or recklessly, seriously interferes with the other's peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm to the other, and

    (b) his or her acts are such that a reasonable person would realise that the acts would seriously interfere with the other's peace and privacy or cause alarm, distress or harm to the other,

    Come off it Terry, PS I note that you still havent responded to me regards your bunkum, that the WRC is not bias towards employers..

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